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Aqueous cryoprotective composition and application method for fruit trees and plants

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20170605003
Publication Date: 14 June 2017

Summary

A Spanish SME has developed an aqueous cryoprotective composition for fruit trees and plants that can be used in the form of a solution diluted in water. It can also increase the resistance of plants and trees to frost damage, by applying a quantity by means of spraying. The company is interested in selling the patent through a license agreement or, preferably, setting up a commercial agreement with technical assistance to further develop and improve the composition for other uses.

Description

The present invention from a small Spanish company relates to the field of cryoprotective treatments for increasing the resistance of plants to frost damage. More particularly, the invention relates to aqueous cryoprotective compositions for fruit trees and plants and to the application method thereof.
It is well known that temperatures below 0ºC often cause significant temporary or permanent damage in a large number of plant species with a high commercial value.
Certain plant species have great resistance to damage caused by frost. Others, however, are particularly sensitive when the temperature drops below 0ºC which leads to significant crop damage and, therefore, heavy economic losses.
This damage is particularly significant when it occurs during the start of the vegetative cycle which begins between the end of winter and the spring, during which flowering, fruit production and the appearance of the first green shoots in fruit trees take place.
Apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, plum trees, peach trees or grapevine, among others, can be mentioned as species that are the most sensitive to low temperatures.
The damage caused by frost does not depend solely on low temperatures that are reached, but also on factors such as the long-lastingness, the speed of the cooling-heating cycle, the phenological state of the plant, the maturity of the tissues, the general condition of the plant, the frost type, etc.
This makes frost a complex and hard-to-prevent phenomenon. Generally, the parts of the tree that are the most affected by spring frosts are the flowers and freshly set young fruits, the most readily observed damage being the necrotic tissues.
To prevent the effects of frosts, methods such as fans, kerosene heaters, burning of old tires, spray irrigation, etc., have been tested depending on frost type and intensity.
Generally, all these methods have a series of drawbacks:
1- They require permanent or semipermanent installations.
2- They do not have a preventive character since they require actions to be performed while frost is being produced.
3- They are generally expensive due to the investment necessary, the required manpower and the power or water consumption necessary.
Methods of protection based on cryoprotective product application have been proposed to prevent these drawbacks.
Cryoprotective products can be defined as compounds which, when applied by spraying, for example, are absorbed by the living organs of the plant and stored for a certain time in the interstitial fluid, protecting the plant from damage caused by frosts until these compounds are metabolized and disappear.

The Spanish company is interested in selling the patent to a company which can exploit the solution, whose activity is related to products for plants and fruit trees care and maintenance or, preferably, a company which can invest in R&D and improve the composition for other uses.

Advantages and Innovations

Method for increasing the resistance of fruit trees and plants to frost damage, which consists of directly applying an effective amount of an aqueous cryoprotective composition to the plants and trees to be treated by means of spraying, said composition taking the form of a solution diluted in 90-97.5% (v/v) water, preferably in 94% (v/v) water. 
The components that form the product are respectful and without any interference with the environment.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Stage Of Development Comment

Determination of fruit survival to frost of tree fruit in a field plot after treatment with the aqueous cryoprotective composition of the invention.
Determination of the survival of horticultural crops under variable control conditions.

Requested partner

The Spanish company is interested in selling the patent, through a licence agreement, to a company provider of products for plants ad fruit trees care and maintenance, which can exploit the solution, The role of this partner is the production and commercialization of the composition. 

The Spanish SME is preferably interested in searching for a company which can invest in R&D to further develop and improve the composition for other uses. In this case the type of partnership considered is "Commercial agreement with technical assistance". The Spanish company offers the patent for acquisition, offering to support the transfer of the technology.

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